Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Neptune's First Orbit: Anniversary Pictures by Hubble

Yesterday, Neptune returned to where it was discovered over 165 years ago. Neptune is finally the last major planet (which does not include any minor planet or dwarf, like Pluto) that has returned to its orbit since it was discovered, and Hubble wanted to commemorate the event by taking four photos of the icy, aqua world.

The four images you see above were taken by the wide-field camera 3 on June 25-26 during Neptune's sixteen hour rotation. Each snapshot was taken at every four hours, giving the full view of the planet. "The images reveal high-altitude clouds in the northern and southern hemispheres. The clouds are composed of methane ice crystals," informs ScienceDaily.

To read more about Neptune's first orbit, check out our other post.

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